Passport Delays? Could You Be Owed Compensation

The UK Passport Office are having record numbers of passport applications and wait times for passports are currently exceeding up to 13 weeks.

Typically passport renewals or applications tend to take around 3 weeks but can take up to 10, with record numbers applying for new passports or to renew their old ones, people are having to wait much longer which brings the risk of missing your flights or having to cancel/lose out on your planned holiday.

In normal terms, you wouldn't be able to get any sort of refund from your holiday firm, or hotel company if your passport didn't arrive in time as they would still be providing the service in which you have paid for unless the company you booked with promises you the right to cancel and get a refund at the point of booking.

The Passport Office may pay compensation to you if you paid for a faster service such as the one week fast track service or the one day premium service and this was not provided to you due to errors or delays caused by the Passport Office.

The official guidance from the Passport Office states that the following errors would possibly lead to a successful compensation claim:

A straight forward and non-questionable compensation claim is one where it is clear we:

- made an error which has caused the customer extra expense - have damaged or lost a customer's document and we must replace it

A straight forward non-questionable guaranteed service level fail is one where we:

- clearly failed the service level due to an error, omission or unnecessary delay.

It's important to note that compensation is NOT payable where the delay was because additional checks had to be made or where the delay was caused by a third party (for example, where the Passport Office contacted a counter-signatory and they delayed replying).